Belfast Telegraph

Eastwood aiming to shine on both World and European stage


By Sammy Hamill

Charlie Eastwood is to expand his 2018 racing programme to include the Blancpain European Endurance Championship.

It had already been confirmed that the reigning GB Porsche Carrera Cup champion from Belfast had signed to drive in the World Endurance Championship with the British TF Sports team.

He will share an Aston Martin Vantage GTE with Salih Yoluc and Euan Hankey for the eight-round World series, which starts with a six-hour race at Spa in Belgium in May.

Now, TF Sports have announced he will be added to their European series team where he will partner Pro Am Cup champion Ahmad Al Harthy and Euan McKay in their GT3 Aston Martin for the five-round Championship.

Excited about the extra races, Eastwood said: "I've got a busy season ahead, which is fantastic. I'm new to endurance racing so I need as much mileage as possible and I'll certainly be getting that this year with TF Sport.

"We have a great all-Silver line-up and I'm looking forward to driving the GT3 - which we know is almost bulletproof - and then switching over to the GTE for WEC.

"For me as a professional driver, I think it's important to be able to switch cars and adapt quickly, so I'm very excited to be taking on this second programme."

Eastwood could find himself among familiar faces when the European series starts at Monza in April.

Fellow Ulster drivers Steven Kane, Jonny Kane and Andrew Watson have all been regulars in the Championship in recent years.

Steven Kane is again expected to lead the Bentley team but there have been changes at Strakka Racing, who had both Jonny Kane and Watson as part of the team last season.

Strakka have split with McLaren and will instead field AMG Mercedes GT3s this year and have yet to announce their driver line-up.

However, Jonny Kane, a long-time Strakka driver, was not part of the team for the 12-hour race at Bathurst in Australia earlier this month and, although Watson was Down Under, he maintained his McLaren links by driving for the customer YNA Autosport team.

Watson has been part of McLaren's driver development programme for the past three years and the 22-year-old from Donaghmore is expected to continue with them this season.

An announcement on their line-up is expected shortly with pre-season testing due to begin early next month.

Belfast Telegraph

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